- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hillary Clinton broke her silence on the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, on Thursday, arguing Americans “cannot ignore the inequities” in the criminal justice system.

“Imagine what we would feel, what we would do if white drivers were three times as likely to be searched by police at a traffic stop as black drivers, instead of the other way around,” she said in response to the racially charged unrest that unfolded in Ferguson after the Aug. 9 police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, Time reported.

“If white offenders received prison sentences 10 percent longer than black offenders for the same crimes. If a third of all white men — just look at this room and take one third — went to prison during their lifetime. Imagine that. that is the reality in the lives of so many of our fellow Americans and so many of the communities in which they live,” she said during a paid speech in San Francisco.

Mrs. Clinton praised President Obama’s decision to send Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson for an investigation, which is “both appropriate and necessary to find out what happened, to see that justice is done, to help this community begin healing itself,” she said.

The former secretary of state has come under scrutiny for her silence in the nearly three weeks following Brown’s death. Several noted liberals, including CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill, deemed it cowardly.

“[The Clintons] have made so much of their political bones on the backs of black voters, getting black support, getting black love, identifying black causes,” Mr. Hill said on CNN Tuesday. “Hillary Clinton will go to Selma in 2008 and clap with black people and put on a fake Southern accent and pretend to identify with black struggle and black pain. But now that real black issues are on the table, now that real black struggle is in the public eye, she has said nothing.”

During her speech Thursday, Mrs. Clinton noted that her remarks fell on the 51st anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

“That mission is as fiercely urgent today as when he stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in the hot August sun all those years ago,” she said, Time reported. “So we have a lot of work to do together.”

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